Batteries for mobile and stationary applications are essential components of the infrastructure required for a sustainable economy, based on renewable energy sources. In the earliest examples of batteries (Bagdad battery, Voltaic pile) the controlled corrosion (oxidation) of metals has already been used as one of the half cell reactions that convert chemical into electric energy. For recharging of the battery, the reverse reaction (metal ion reduction) is necessary. If the metal ions are dissolved in the electrolyte, this reverse reaction corresponds to electroplating of the metal.
Although it would generally be feasible, this reaction cannot be used in lithium ion batteries, because the dendritic metal growth during recharging would destroy the separator and eventually lead to a short circuit. However, in the case of magnesium, which is explored as a material for post-lithium batteries, dendritic growth has not been observed. The use of magnesium metal anodes has thus been suggested for rechargeable magnesium ion batteries. Dendritic growth is observed also for aluminum anodes in secondary batteries. It is nevertheless intensively explored, because aluminum batteries could be very cost-effective due to the abundance of this metal. The deposition and dissolution of metallic zinc anodes is likewise being explored for application in redox flow batteries, which are promising candidates for stationary large scale electrochemical energy storage on grid level.
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C. Zelger, J. Laumen, A. Laskos, B. Gollas, "Rota-Hull cell study on pulse current zinc electrodeposition from alkaline electrolytes", Electrochim. Acta, 2016, 213, 208-216. DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2016.07.108
A. Gavrilović-Wohlmuther, A. Laskos, C. Zelger, B. Gollas, A. H. Whitehead, "Effects of Electrolyte Concentration, Temperature, Flow Velocity and Current Density on Zn Deposit Morphology", Journal of Energy and Power Engineering, 2015, 9, 1019-1028. DOI: 10.17265/1934-8975/2015.11.010
T. Hejze, B. R. Gollas, R. K. Sauerbrey, M. Schmied, F. Hofer, J. O. Besenhard, “Preparation of Pd-coated polymer electrolyte membranes and their application in direct methanol fuel cells”, J. Power Sources, 2005, 140, 21-27. DOI:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2004.08.010
A. Basch, B. Gollas, R. Horn, J. O. Besenhard, “Substrate-induced coagulation (SIC) of nano-disperse carbon black in non-aqueous media: A method of manufacturing highly conductive cathode materials for Li-ion batteries by self-assembly”, J. Appl. Electrochem., 2005, 35, 169-176. DOI: 10.1007/s10800-004-5823-6
K. Leitner, B. Gollas, M. Winter, J. O. Besenhard, “Combination of redox capacity and double layer capacitance in composite supercapacitor electrodes through immobilization of an organic redox couple on carbon black”, Electrochim. Acta, 2004, 50, 199-204. DOI: 10.1016/j.electacta.2004.07.030
Hybrid Capacitors (Lise Meitner Project)